Trailing Lewis & Clark: Inventorying Prehistory at the Point of Contact

Author(s): Kevin M. O'Briant; Clay Jenkinson

Year: 2018


During their 1803-05 westward journey, the Lewis and Clark Expedition described the presence of native graves, mounds, abandoned villages, and rock art. Previous archaeological research, centered around the 2005 Bicentennial, focused on the verification of campsites used by the members of the Corps of Discovery. Public interpretation of their Trail has likewise focused on the explorers themselves, neglecting both the Native context in which they traveled as well as the deeper history of their chosen route. This inventory re-examines the antiquities noted by the expedition through the lens of current archaeological research, to examine the rivers and trails utilized by the Expedition as long-distance trade routes, migratory pathways, and sacred spaces for the people who lived along them. Highlighting this deeper Native history and contextualizing the Euro-American observations provides a pathway to decolonizing public interpretations of the Lewis and Clark Trail.

Cite this Record

Trailing Lewis & Clark: Inventorying Prehistory at the Point of Contact. Kevin M. O'Briant, Clay Jenkinson. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443198)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22405